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Christmas

Christmas Giveaway with Anderson Design Group! [CLOSED]

Christmas Giveaway with Anderson Design Group Our Streamlined Life

Today we’re launching our first-ever giveaway … and we want YOU to be a part of it! We’ve teamed up with Anderson Design Group to introduce you to some incredible artwork … and give you a chance to get some of it for yourself  just in time for Christmas!

We first discovered Anderson Design Group while doing some random Googling about the national parks. (Yes, that’s something we do a lot.) We immediately fell in love with their gorgeous national park art printst-shirtscalendars … and even the coloring book that made it onto our holiday gift guide! And their National Park collection isn’t the only thing to love at Anderson Design Group! We’re also crazy about their Lake and Lodge and American Travel collections!

2017 Travel Planning with Anderson Design Group

Anderson Design Group was generous enough to send us a few products to check out for ourselves, and we loved them even more once we got our hands on their beautiful, high-quality work. As soon as he started turning the pages of their coffee table book, Ryan was immediately inspired to drop everything and start plotting our 2017 map across the United States. (The vintage-inspired art for each of the 59 national parks is jaw-dropping, and there’s tons of interesting information about each park, too.) And we extra loved this company after learning that in 2015, Joel Anderson — the artist and founder of Anderson Design Group — took his family on a national parks road trip from Nashville to New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah. Total kindred spirits!

They also sent us this gorgeous calendar (I can’t get over how beautiful that oil painting of Redwood National Park is!) and the 59-piece national parks postcard set (which we are currently scheming to use in a fun blog project for 2017 … seriously, if you’re a national parks enthusiast, the possibilities for ways to use these postcards are endless!).

We knew you guys would love Anderson Design Group as much as we do, so we were thrilled when they offered to give two of our readers a $25 gift card, good for anything in their online store! Whether you’re a full-time traveler like us … a weekend warrior intent on seeing the world … or a homebody who loves celebrating your hometown, there’s something at Anderson Design Group for everyone! (And their products would make the perfect gift for the traveler or national park enthusiast in your life, too!)

Here’s How To Win:

  1. To enter, leave a comment at the end of this post telling us which item from Anderson Design Group’s online store you’d use your $25 gift card to buy.
  2. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to track your entry (mandatory). Simply log in with your Facebook account or email. Once you’ve left your comment on this post, check it off in the box below, which will unlock additional options to enter.
  3. OPTIONAL: Earn ADDITIONAL entries by completing more actions in the Rafflecopter widget, including sharing our post on Pinterest and liking Our Streamlined Life and Anderson Design Group on Instagram and Facebook.

So jump in and enter! We are dying to give these gift cards away!

This giveaway closes Friday, December 23, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

18 Holiday Gift Ideas For the Camper, Traveler, and Adventurer

For a traveler, adventurer, or camper, few gifts make your heart sing quite as much as new gear! Today we’re sharing our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: 18 Gift Ideas For the Camper, Traveler, and Adventurer. These are mostly items we have and love, along with a few that are making an appearance on our own Christmas lists this year!

2016 Holiday Gift Guilde

This post contains affiliate links, which help support the blog and our travels! We appreciate your support, and only share products we find useful or lovely (and occasionally astonishing).

Gifts for the Traveler

Gifts for the Traveler 2016 Gift Guide Our Streamlined Life

  • F1 Spacepak Toiletry Bag. Because we spend a lot of time in campground, hotel, and friends’ bathrooms, I’ve been looking for the perfect toiletry bag for almost two years now. Ryan got me this one for my birthday, and it’s perfect. It has a hanging hook, room for large toiletries (not just travel-sized ones), and I can easily carry all my stuff from bathroom to bathroom.
  • Ebags packing cubes. I never check luggage if I can help it, and packing cubes help me fit everything in my carry-on, every time. Ebags’ version come in lots of sizes and lots of colors so you can customize to your needs. (I like the small size cubes, but the mixed packs are great too.)
  • Away Carry-On. I finally retired my carry-on after 10 years of use and abuse, and I’m determined this Away bag is going to be the next one I purchase. It’s a hardshell. It has a built-in charger. It comes in gorgeous colors. I’m obsessed.

Gifts for the Camper

Gifts for the Camper 2016 Gift Guide Our Streamlined Life

  • OuterEQ 8pcs Lightweight Cookware SetThis set is small, but it has just about everything you need for cooking for two on a propane stove. It’s a great size for backpacking and short camping trips (although I rely heavily on it for longer trips, too.) When I bought it I was concerned about the quality, but we’ve had it for a year and it’s still going strong!
  • Lodge L5SK3 Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned, 8-inchThis is on my list. Because fire food is the best food. (And this one is a great price point and size.)
  • Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove. This is meant for backpacking, but I cooked almost exclusively on this guy for about a year with no problems. Upgrade: The Coleman Classic Propane Stove.
  • evrgrn Starry Night 2P Tent. My sister has this tent, and I’m planning how to steal it from her. (Shhhh!) The coolest part about it is seamless mesh moonroof and two large doors. It’s also super easy to setup — always a plus.
  • Wild and Wolf Enamel Mug. I got my enamel camping mug for Christmas last year, and I love it.
  • Kindle Paperwhite E-reader. Hear me out on this one. Of course, camping is a time for disconnecting from electronics. That said, there are few things I love as much as reading a good book in front of the campfire. This one is the best of every world. It’s backlit, so you can see the screen at night. It’s not a tablet, so you won’t be distracted by the wonders of the Internet. And it has built-in 3G, which means in all but the most remote regions, I can always have a new book at my fingertips. (Bonus: my favorite case, the Fintie Smartshell, which has kept my Kindle safe from one end of the country and back.)

Gifts for the Hiker

Gifts for the Hiker 2016 Gift Guide Our Streamlined Life

  • Hiking boots. The avid hiker goes through shoes like crazy. Ryan is on his third pair of Merrell Moabs (they come in a mid-height as well). Rebecca hikes in Brooks Cascadias — technically a trail runner, but super lightweight and sturdy.
  • Waterproof shell. This year we both added nice hiking rain jackets to our wardrobes. Ryan’s is the Merrell Cascadia, and fits like a dream. Rebecca’s is The North Face Venture Jacket. And in orange and sea foam green, respectively, we’re very easy to spot on the mountain.
  • The perfect hiking jacket (for him and for her). Ryan has one. Rebecca has one … on her Christmas list. These jackets are lightweight, warm, and nice enough to cover the transition from the mountain to dinner out.
  • Outdoor Products Vortex Backpack. We’ve been looking for just the right hiking daypack for a while, and this summer we finally found it. This pack fits both of us comfortably, carries snacks, maps, and extra layers without being too big, and comes in lots of colors. It’s also ridiculously inexpensive compared to a lot of the bags we looked at.

Gifts for the Adventurous Homebody

Gifts for the Adventurous Homebody 2016 Gift Guide Our Streamlined Life

Gifts for Adventurous Kids

Gifts for Adventurous Kids 2016 Gift Guide Our Streamlined Life

(I couldn’t do a gift guide without adding books … but this time, it’s my picks for the little ones!)

A Thoughtful Gift Guide for the Minimalist in Your Life

Christmas can be a tricky time of year for minimalists. Every year my mom says to me in exasperation, “I’m not getting you anything for Christmas! You just throw everything away!” And it’s true — since we live in a small space, I have pretty high standards when it comes to keeping only the things I truly need and love (even if it was a gift).

A Thoughtful Gift Guide for the Minimalist in Your Life

While it’s easy to equate gift giving and receiving with materialism, I personally love the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with both giving and receiving a thoughtful gift. The best way to ensure the minimalist in your life loves your gift is to keep it small and make it thoughtful! (That doesn’t have to mean inexpensive, although it certainly can.) Keep reading for my picks for great gifts for minimalists  — these work for birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions, too!

This post contains affiliate links, which help support the blog and our travels! We appreciate your support, and only share products we find useful, lovely, and occasionally astonishing. You can also support us by starting all your holiday shopping on Amazon here; your shopping experience is the same and we earn a small affiliate fee on the purchases you make. Thank you!

Thoughtful Gift Guide for Minimalists Holiday 2016

Give the Gift of Less

Minimalists are constantly looking for ways to simplifying and streamline their lives. Technology is one of the easiest ways to do so, but gadgets can feel splurgey when you’re watching your budget. That makes them the perfect gift!

  1. I firmly believe a Kindle is one of the best gifts you can buy a minimalist (or anyone else, for that matter). I love mine — the paperwhite version, which is just a reader, not a tablet, and includes a backlight and 3G wifi service — but there are several options to choose from at a variety of price points. And just think: once you’ve bought your minimalist a Kindle, your future gift-giving woes are solved … just get them Amazon gift cards or books that will deliver straight to their Kindle!
  2. Along the same lines, an Audible membership gives the gift of stories in a super-minimalist way. I’m currently obsessed with Audible, Amazon’s audio book subscription service. It makes an ideal gift for anyone who travels a lot, has a long commute, or spends a lot of time at the gym. And it takes up absolutely zero space!
  3. Amazon Prime is another no-brainer gift for minimalists — because let’s be real: everyone orders from Amazon (minimalist or otherwise). When you give the gift of Prime you’re giving a full year of free two-day shipping, unlimited TV and movie streaming with Prime Video, and more!

Thoughtful Gift Guide for Minimalists Holiday 2016

Give the Gift of a Delicious Splurge

Let’s say you have a minimalist in your life, and they’ve told you about ten times now, “We just don’t have any more room for stuff! Please don’t get us anything this year.” But you still secretly want to see their face light up when you hand them a beautifully wrapped gift. The best advice I have to offer you is to get them something consumable — food or drink they will thoroughly enjoy, then use up. The key to this kind of gift is to make it just a little bit splurgey — we’re not talking about getting them a jar of Folgers coffee here. 😉 

  1. If you have a coffee-lover in your life, a few bags of nice coffee are a great way to make sure they think of you fondly at the beginning of every day. A favorite of ours is Parker’s Maple Barn’s maple cinnamon coffee, but your personal favorite or something from a local coffee producer feels fancy. (Resist the urge to pair your gift with cutesy coffee mugs, but fancy sugar cubes make a charming addition.)
  2. Wine is another gift that will be sure to spark fond thoughts when your gift-receiver ends up enjoying it. (And you can know for sure that it won’t get pushed to the back of the cupboard and forgotten.) Visit a local winery for a fun twist on this kind of gift, or give a bottle or two of your personal favorite!
  3. Chocolate is always a crowd pleaser — but make it special to avoid looking like you just grabbed a box of chocolate from your local drugstore on your way to exchanging gifts. Hands-down the best chocolate I had this year was the bourbon pecan chocolates from Woodford Reserve distillery in Kentucky, and you’re in luck; they’re available on Amazon!

Thoughtful Gift Guide for Minimalists Holiday 2016

Give the Gift of an Experience

Most of the minimalists I know value experiences over stuff. 

  1.  My personal favorite experiential gift is receiving gift cards that fuel my love of travel — like a gift card for hotelsairlines, or even Airbnb! I promise, if your minimalist is anything like me, he or she will love the gift that takes her somewhere new!
  2. Another fun option is the gift of a class. Whether it’s a one-time paint-and-sip class or a recurring photography class, you’ll be giving both a fun night out and a new skill that they’ll remember forever! Start by brainstorming ideas your gift-receiver would love. Painting, guitar, sewing, craft, cooking, craft brewing, blogging — the opportunities are endless! Then search for classes in their local area. Sites like Living Social are good places to start; you could even check non-credit courses at their community college.
  3. Last but certainly not least, the gift of an adventure. In New England, the gift of a season pass to a ski mountain is never a bad idea. If you live in the south, consider giving the gift of snorkeling or surfing. And adventures don’t have to be extreme; did you know many state parks offer camping gift cards? (We love KOAs, too, and they also offer gift cards.)

Thoughtful Gift Guide for Minimalists Holiday 2016

Give the Gift of a Book

A great book on minimalism makes a wonderful gift for anyone who’s trying to live a more simple life. (For bonus points, give them the Kindle version! You can schedule it to deliver by email, or you can get a gift code that you can print out and put in a stocking or stick in a card.) These are the books I recommend to anyone looking to streamline their life!

  1. The Joy of Less was the very first book I ever read on minimalism and it totally changed my life and my perspective on stuff. It starts philosophically and moves on to the practical, and is a great resource no matter where you are in your minimalist journey.
  2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a perfect gift to give going into the new year. Author Marie Kondo doesn’t believe that all stuff holds you back, just the wrong stuff, and she offers hands-on ways to pinpoint and get rid of it.
  3. The Ultimate Guide to Living Full Time in an RV, Airstream or Motorhome is a brand new book by Melanie Gnau. Her radical life change and gorgeous Airstream home were a huge inspiration to us in our journey, and I know they will be to you, too. If you are interested in learning more about full time life in a camper, I’d highly recommend you checking out her book (and her blog!).

That’s our definitive 2016 holiday gift guide for minimalists! We’ve been at this a while, so we have a pretty good idea what we like to receive as part of a “simple” Christmas — but we’d love to hear from you, too! Tell us in the comments: what are your favorite minimalist Christmas gifts?

A Thoughtful Gift Guide for the Minimalist in Your Life

A Christmas Gallery: Five Thoughtful Reads

Ryan and I love Christmas. For the most part we find ourselves pretty stress-free during the holidays. That’s partly because we’re pretty good about streamlining the holidays and only doing the things we really want to do … and partly because we genuinely enjoy many Christmas “obligations” like parties and shopping.

The posts I’m sharing below are fresh, thoughtful, and practical takes on Christmas. I hope they encourage and bring you a little joy this holiday season, just as they have to me!

How to Practice Minimalism During the Holidays - Our Streamlined Life

How To Practice Minimalism During the Holidays. Melanie’s tips on keeping your holidays sane are practical and attainable. #3 is my favorite. [from A Small Life]

5 Reasons I'm Not Simplifying Christmas This Year - Our Streamlined Life

5 Reasons I’m Not Simplifying Christmas This Year. Ironically the concept of “simplifying Christmas” can feel like a lot of work. (So much pressure to not do what everyone else is doing!) I always find Laura Vanderkam to be a voice of reason in a crazy world, and this Christmas post is no different. [from Laura Vanderkam]

How We Do Christmas Gifts in Our Family - Our Streamlined Life

How We Do Christmas Gifts in Our Family. Emily’s posts are always practical and thoughtful and I loved this read on the four gifts they give each of their kids at Christmas. Not only does she include lovely printables, but she shares how they’re helping her kids become more grateful. Love! [from Jones Design Company]

How to Decorate for Christmas Without Punching Someone in the Face - Our Streamlined Life

How to Decorate for the Holidays Without Punching Someone in the Face. Both funny and thoughtful, this post will help you put the joy back in holiday decorating. (Without punching your husband, OR the Martha May Whovier who lives next door.) #4 is my favorite, but the bottom line — “Simply decorate until it’s not fun anymore.” — is perfect. [from The Lazy Genius Collective]

Christmas At Home (Wait ... Whose Home?) - Our Streamlined Life

Christmas at Home (Wait … Whose Home?) With one family in New Hampshire and another in Louisiana, we do a lot of traveling at Christmas. So I really appreciated Rachel’s post on making sure your Christmas reflects your family values (not just your extended family’s traditions). [from Small Notebook]